Populating drop-down list with values from a field

I am new to Airtable and haven’t had luck finding a solution for this use case. Is there a native or third-party function that automatically populates a Single-Select or Multi-Select field with the values from a column as selectable options? A manual copy/paste would not work, as the data would need to be dynamic in cases where new data is added to the source column or if one of the column’s values change.

Airtable will automatically turn all of your field values into drop-down options when you convert the field to single-select or multi-select.

Thank you for replying. I have read of this, though I don’t believe this is a solution as it is a one-time only, manual event. When the data in the original column is added to or changes, those changes would not be reflected in the drop-down options.

That’s not true. Airtable always adds the values into the options. So convert your field, and then you will get the behavior you’re looking for.

Does it need to be a dropdown? What you’re describing sounds like it could be implemented as a linked record – with the caveat that the “column” that populates the dropdown would have to be its own table, or the primary/name field of an existing table.

Right, linked fields have the same behavior, with the advantage of each option is its own record in another table.

Since you’re new to Airtable, I would highly recommend checking out my free Airtable training course, which covers all of these topics:

I am happy to give this a try, entirely possible I am missing a common function.

To clarify:

  • Table A contains a “Fruit” field/column listing 50 fruit names (Apple, Orange, etc.).
  • Table B is an empty table which will ideally contain a “Fruit Selection” field (or “column” - I like to use both terms as many users who eventually read this may be coming from an Excel/Sheets or SQL environment, all of which use “column”), which will be a Single-Select drop-down field.

Using a form attached to Table B, would a user be able to interact with this Single-Select drop-down field and select a fruit name from it, all of which will be dynamically-populated from the “Fruit” field in Table A? If the value “Apple” in Table A were changed to read as “Green Apple” and the form page was refreshed, would the Single-Select drop-down field display the updated value “Green Apple” rather than the original “Apple” value?

The difference with linked record fields is that if you delete the linked record from the table, that record’s value will no longer appear in the dropdown list. Single selects and multi selects can contain values that aren’t currently in use.

After trying this suggestion, this does not appear to be the behavior I describe above, there may be a misunderstanding as to what is being asked (thank you for your patient responses). An example may be easier to follow:

  • Table A features a single “Fruit” column featuring a list of fruit names.
  • Table B features a “Fruit Selection” field/column and does not contain any data - all rows are blank and should remain blank, as this table exists to collect user input from a Form
  • The Fruit Selection field is a Single-Select field. The user will select a fruit name from a drop-down field on a Form, and their selections will populate in the Fruit Selection field in Table B
  • The Fruit Selection field in Table B should be a dynamic drop-down field that populates its options using the data from the Fruit field in Table A without any manual action by the user. If a value in Table A’s Fruit field is updated or removed, that change is then reflected in the Fruit Selection drop-down field automatically

Is this a function I can achieve natively within Airtable?

Unfortunately, this is not possible in Airtable.

As far as I can tell, this is the #1 most requested feature over the last 5 years in this forum, but it has fallen on deaf ears so far.

Be absolutely sure to send this feature request to support@airtable.com.

We likely won’t get anywhere if people don’t keep writing to them about this, although we still might not get anywhere even if people do keep writing them about this.

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Thank you for clarifying. I will take care to make this request, I’m sure the importance of this feature has been stressed by many users over the years.

Coda does it beautifully

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